The updated Power Rankings arrive on Wednesday. But first, the Sour Rankings take a spin through the worst of the past week in the NFL …
10. The Panthers go trolling
Prior to their Week 11 showdown, The social media staffs from Carolina and Washington exchanged a little Twitter trash talk ... which is an actual thing that happens in modern sports.
Washington started by declaring Carolina "Redskins country." The Panthers' folks shot back with a shot at Washington ownership's fight to keep the team's moniker.
The Panthers also got the last laugh, thanks to a 44–16 victory.
Bonus Redskins content in Sour Rankings: After the 28-point loss, defensive lineman Jason Hatcher said that officials are not giving his team a fair shake because of its name. “Every game, calls after calls should have been made it our favor but go to them,” Hatcher said. “It's just not right.”
9. Run, squirrel, run
Thirty-three years ago last Friday, football gifted us with “The band is on the field!” at the conclusion of a Cal-Stanford game. Sunday, we got this:
8. Antonio Gates vs. Philip Rivers
The Chargers' season flew off the rails long ago, so it doesn't come as a huge surprise that the team's veterans are a little on edge. During San Diego's 33–3 loss to Kansas City, Gates and Rivers got into it on the sideline. (Possible bad language ahead...)
“Really, what he said doesn’t matter,” Rivers said, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Brothers fuss and fight, if any of you have brothers. I love Antonio and I think he’ll tell you the same thing. It’s two of probably the most competitive guys on the team, been here long as anybody. I think we’re kinda at our last straw, you know?”
7. Brock Osweiler plays defense
The Broncos won Sunday, 17–15, so Osweiler's debut as the starting quarterback was mostly considered a success. Key word: Mostly.
Denver might have had an easier time of it were it not for Osweiler accidentally taking down running back Ronnie Hillman on a fourth-and-1 play from Chicago's two-yard-line.
“I've got to get my big feet out of the way,” Osweiler said, via the AP.
6. Cam Newton's tail
Newton often draws attention for his fashion choices at postgame press conferences. And, well ...
If anyone can explain what's going on here, please do so.
5. The Carson Palmer "Thrust Fund"
The Cardinals' quarterback celebrated his team's clutch win at Seattle last week with a pelvic thrust aimed at the stands. Of course, the league decided that was far too inappropriate for its conduct standards, so Palmer was fined $11,576 under the “Won't somebody think of the children” rule.
(Side note: Denver's T.J. Ward was fined $10K after throwing a punch in Week 10; Pittsburgh's Arthur Moats was fined $8,691 for a brutal face mask that nearly ripped Johnny Manziel's head off. But, yea, don't pelvic thrust.)
Anyway, some Cardinals fans are trying to help Palmer pay his penalty, hence the “Carson Palmer Thrust Fund” GoFundMe page. To date, 226 people have pledged a total of $2,216.
4. Rob Ryan, TV personality
Ryan was fired by the Saints a few days ago, so naturally he turned up as a guest analyst on the NFL Network's pregame show Sunday in place of Kurt Warner, whose jaw is wired shut after breaking it in several places. It went about as expected:
In case you missed it, that was: "Of course, everything in the world is being blamed on me, including [Hurricane] Katrina." Rich Eisen's reaction is all of our reactions.
3. Matt Barkley forgets his pants
OK, so he didn't really forget to get dressed. But before the Bengals-Cardinals game Sunday night, several reporters tweeted out a shot of an underdressed Barkley.
Speculation for the antics assumed that Barkley, Arizona's backup, had lost a bet involving the outcome of Saturday's USC-Oregon game. (Barkley played for USC.) Former Cardinals kicker Jay Feely cleared up the mystery, tweeting: “Nope, he lost the weekly Az QB challenge. Loser pays up on Sunday.”
2. The Raiders' “incomplete pass”
This is a catch. The officials in Detroit on Sunday did not rule it so, instead waving it off because Michael Crabtree dropped the ball after he was pushed out of bounds. But this is a catch.
Crabtree had two feet down, inbounds with control, before he was shoved down. This should not have fallen under the “going to the ground” provision that requires a receiver to maintain control through the entire process of his reception, because Crabtree was not going to the ground when he gained possession. Attempted catches along the sideline also do not require receivers to establish themselves as a runner, as they must do in the field of play.
The Raiders didn't challenge. They probably should have, but it's also hard to blame Jack Del Rio for not risking a timeout over a rule that no one understands in the first place.
1. James Jones' hoodie
Jones caught six passes for 109 yards in Green Bay's win Sunday, including a touchdown and a spectacular sprawling 37-yarder. I'm a member of the camp that thinks if you play like that, you can wear whatever you want.
FOX officiating expert Mike Pereira confirmed that wearing a hoodie under a jersey is not illegal. He added, however, that—as is the case with a player's hair—Jones could have been pulled down by the hoodie without the defender being tagged for a horse-collar tackle.